Converting Intel Xeon based Workstation to run Windows 10 — Micro Center

Converting Intel Xeon based Workstation to run Windows 10

A few years ago I built a workstation for video rendering.  The CPU is a Xeon E5-2620 The ram is 2x8 (total 16 MB) of DDR3 at 12,800 Mhz. The motherboard is an ASUS Z9-PE-D8 built into a larger server grade case.
Now that the need to do a lot of video rendering is no longer the priority, I would like to upgrade to Windows 10.
And now I am told by ASUS that this motherboard will not run windows 10.
I am having trouble finding a motherboard that will make use of the CPU and RAM that I own.
1) Can someone suggest a motherboard that will use my CPU, RAM and run Win10? Please be sure you know that it will run Win10. I have already followed a number of leads that took me nowhere other than down a rabbit hole. Major brands are preferred. I hesitate being a guinea pig for an off brand.
2) I am willing to buy a second hand or refurbished Motherboard if it will save me money and work with what I have already. I do not see any current new motherboards that actually list Windows 10 compatibility with a LGA2011 socket and DDR3.
3) I am willing to abandon some or all of the CPU and DDR3 that I own if I can find current or recent (not too old) Intel CPU/Motherboard/RAM at around $300 to $400. Then I will part out and sell the things I own.
NOTE: I own a second empty ATX case and I think I would prefer an ATX motherboard for future incremental expansion with more RAM and a second Video card. I may want to do some streaming in the future.
NOTE: I am not a gamer. But I do a lot with 3D applications such as Fusion 360 and Blender. Photoshop is also a regular piece of software for me.

Comments

  • From what information I've found, I don't think you'll find any motherboards that CPU will work with that officially support Windows 10. The platform is just too old . That doesn't mean they won't work, it just means you're more likely to experience issues if you try to install Windows 10 on a system with a board like that. It would probably work fine, but you don't have that 100% guarantee of working properly.

    If you're willing to look around at newer but used Intel parts, I'd personally look at something like a used i7-8700k. You should be able to find an 8700k + Z370 motherboard + RAM for 300-400. The 8700k is also a six-core/12 thread part so it would still do well in multi-threaded workloads. Probably better than the Xeon given how much newer it is. 
  • Thanks @TSTonyV I will look for the parts you suggest. I have tried to install windows 10 retail version onto this current computer and it would not install.  I called ASUS and they told me Win 10 was not supported on that Motherboard. And their site was challenging to use their list of compatible motherboard for any boards that I would most likely find on the used market. They seem geared to promote their current products without any desire look back into history. This was just my perception of the way it is.
  • Yeah, manufacturer websites tend to focus on the newer, currently supported stuff. For older hardware like this you usually have to do a little digging from other sources to the exact answers you want. Let us know if you have any other questions!
  • HansenJCHansenJC
    edited June 22
    @TSTonyV Thanks for you help. As I search for these MBs there are some marked 1151 300 series and others (much cheaper) that are not marked 300 series. Which of these is required for the i7-8700k ? The 300 Series MBs are 3x the price of the other motherboards. And is there such a thing as i7-8700 (not K) I am not planning to overclock it.
  • From what I'm seeing with the C600 chipset, it's not officially supported, but it will run Windows 10. Most of the issues with either installing or updating center around the SAS RAID controller. Are you using RAID or SAS drives and are you trying to upgrade in place or clean install?

    i7-8700k and 9700k will both utilize a 300 series board. All 300 series boards are socket 1151. It just depends on what you want to be able to do with the board so far as overclocking in general. You'll need a Z370 or Z390 board, otherwise most overclocking options will be unavailable to you. 


  • Thanks @TSMikeW I tried to 'upgrade' or 'Update' from win 7 to windows 10. And it failed on my workstation. I bought a full retail version of Win 10. Not using RAID. No intention of overclocking. I am watching for used Z370 (or Z390) and I will narrow it down to the 300 series. I can stretch the budget if needed and I am also not on a fixed timetable for completion. I might look for a windows 8.1 license just to have another year or two support before I dismantle this workstation that I have now. That will get me through till I can find the right CPU and motherboard at a modest price to run Windows 10.
  • If you want to provide more information on the error, we can look into this for you. Primarily the error code, the setupact and setuperr logs from the panther folder, in the update directory. 
  • HansenJCHansenJC
    edited June 27
    @TSMikeW The error code is C1900101-20017 and if relevant, the boot drive is a 250GB SSD.
    The setupact is rather large, Here is what I found in the setuperr
    2020-06-22 09:19:27, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:19:27, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:23:26, Error                 CONX   [WICA::CosCommunicator::GetDeviceRatings] [0x803d0010] Failed getting device ratings using matchingIds
    2020-06-22 09:23:27, Error                 CONX   [WICA::CosCommunicator::GetApplicationRatings] [0x803d0010] Failed getting application ratings
    2020-06-22 09:38:28, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:38:28, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:38:28, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:39:05, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:39:05, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:39:05, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:40:14, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:40:14, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:40:14, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:41:09, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:41:09, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:41:09, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:44:32, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:44:32, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:44:32, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:44:54, Error                 CONX   [UploadTelemetryFile] [0x803d0010] Telemetry file upload failed
    2020-06-22 09:44:54, Error                 CONX   [SendTelemetry] Failed to upload the telemetry file to AEStat
    2020-06-22 09:47:03, Error                 CONX   [UploadTelemetryFile] [0x803d0010] Telemetry file upload failed
    2020-06-22 09:47:03, Error                 CONX   [SendTelemetry] Failed to upload the telemetry file to AEStat
    2020-06-22 09:47:26, Error                 CONX   Failed to open online store front [ CREATE_NEW ] [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:47:26, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::COnlineStore::GetAllOffersAsync:failed! [Error: 0x80072ee2]
    2020-06-22 09:47:26, Error                 CONX   ConX::Setup::Web::CWizardPageInstallChoicePresenter::OnShow: [Error: 0x80072ee2.]
    2020-06-22 09:47:47, Error                 CONX   [UploadTelemetryFile] [0x803d0010] Telemetry file upload failed
    2020-06-22 09:47:47, Error                 CONX   [SendTelemetry] Failed to upload the telemetry file to AEStat

    Most online recommendations for this error say to do a clean install, but they do not tell me why this error occurs. Not even MS.
    My hesitation with this method is that while I do have a backup of 99% of all relevant data files and directories, I have never in my life found a restore method that was described well enough to give me confidence.
    I could always use a new SSD that is freshly formatted and see how that works.

  • I tried it one more time and I get to a point where I get a message ACPI BIOS ERROR
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    edited June 28
    The setupact.log will contain much more useful information. With the ACPI_BIOS error, was this post update or was this an attempt at a clean install?

    The error in the setupact.log is a connectivity error.

    Assuming you installed with a clean install we'll check several things that may be the cause of this error, I assume right as you're trying to boot to the media.  Check your storage controller mode, let use AHCI. If you swap back to your other OS on another drive, make sure you change this, or you'll BSOD, until you do. Also, disable virtualization. VT-D and VT-X.
  • @TSMikeW I assume that a 'Clean Install' is the one in the menu that allows me to save my data? If not, I did the dirty install. And before I try to follow along as you lead me to check all those 'several things', did I tell you early in this thread that ASUS does not include this motherboard in its list of boards that support Windows 10? I even asked in their support channel and they very likely checked the same compatibility list that is posted on the internet and that support person told me Windows 10 is not supported by the ASUS Z9-PE-D8.
    Do we still want to try this?

  • That's up to you. Keep in mind that "Not Supported" means "Not Tested", not necessarily that it won't work. A workstation board with a C600 chipset is definitely going to be more difficult than average. If you're going to do anything, make sure you either protect the original driver or have a system image to roll back to. Verify any BIOS settings that may cause you a problem, or backup your data so that you have an easy way back.

    We can try and work through it with you. It's entirely possible you won't be able to get Windows 10 to run on it, either via upgrade or clean install. But if you'd like to keep the machine, we'll see what we can do. Just protect your data and so forth.

  • HansenJCHansenJC
    edited June 29
    I took the computer to my nearest Micro Center to have them install Windows 10, and that was a discouraging adventure. The tech wanted to invoice me before he even started. And he put less effort into the installation of Windows 10 than I have into it already. He did not even read the error messages. I guess the motherboard manufacturer was right and Windows 10 is not supported.
    This is one experience when I wish I had a body camera to record what transpired.
    The tech suggested that I would have to do a clean install. So I bought a new SSD and installed it and and this solution was Déjà vu all over again.
    FAIL.
    Disappointment in Micro Center.



  • We do apologize for the poor experience.  It may very well have been an issue of how far our service department could go on this, for fear of leaving you with a potentially unstable system. If you would help trying to work through this on  your own I will provide all of the assistance that I can. It's possible that there isn't a solution to get this system working on Windows 10, but there may be a work around. 
  • HansenJCHansenJC
    edited June 30
    Thanks @TSMikeW. Now that I have a new clean SSD, to prevent any OS confusion over which drive we are going to install the Windows 10 system on, I have removed all other drives. So, this system should look like a new build. There is only one error message. As before, that error is: ACPI BIOS ERROR.
    Where do we go from here? 
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    edited June 30
    Check your BIOS settings, as that's all you can really control. Assuming the crash is as it's loading to the windows 10 media. Check what your SATA controller version is, and also disable virtualization for now.

    Also check under Advanced > PCI Sub-System Settings. See if you have a 4G Decoding setting.

    If that setting isn't there, you're on an old BIOS version. I did some more digging into this board and it seems you're going to have the same error with Windows 8.1. This was an issue for both 8.1 and Server 2012. It was corrected in a BIOS update by ASUS. So if you update your BIOS to the latest version your issues should go away entirely. Everything I can find on this board, says it'll work and there are drivers for every component on Windows Update. The only component you may have an issue with is the SAS controller. Now, with the BIOS update. Good news and bad news.

    Bad news: When you flash the BIOS there's always a small chance you can brick your board in doing so.. It's the motherboards firmware, if it goes wrong, you're not going to be able to POST.

    Good news: Your BIOS chip isn't soldered, it's a DIP IC. This isn't too common anymore but either DIP or PLC sockets are nice to have because they make an issue like this easily correctable. I used to use sites like BIOSMan, but I don't think they're around anymore, but such sites do still exist. It is possible to order a replacement BIOS chip from a company like that, and they'll flash it with whichever BIOS version you like. Buy a DIP extractor as well to easily remove it. It's a DIP-8 IC. Should be able to get everything for under $20, even if you're doing it as as backup plan.
  • Thanks @TSMikeW I will work my way through these steps and see what I get.
  • @TSMikeW I have found that I have an old BIOS. And I am working through doing a BIOS update. I may need to use Plan B because the update tools from ASUS are not well described. ASUS has an update utility but will not tell anyone how to use it. (The videos on YouTube do not look anything like what I see on my machine.) To quote the ASUS website: "Since it is a little complicated to enter BIOS Utility for updating BIOS, this article will only introduce how to update BIOS in Windows." Are we having fun yet? :-)
    MORE:
    In you instructions above, you start by mentioning to check the SATA controller version, I have both SATA 3, and SATA 2. The SATA 3 is connected to the DVD drive, but the SSD is connected to a SATA 2. Is any of this critical? I have a second SATA 3 connection that I could connect to the SSD. Am I correctly understanding your comment about the SATA controller version?
  • ASUS makes it impossible to get support.
    All of the ASUS documentation for flashing a BIOS is for laptops or Windows 10 (I am not there yet)
    I cannot find a video that shows how to for the EZflash 2 that I have on my current system.
    I have downloaded the latest BIOS but EZflash 2 does not recognize the file that I unzipped from the download.
    This sucks.
  • @TSMikeW I am unable to find a domestic source for a Bios chip that is NOT Ebay or offshore. Do you have one that you recognize?
  • @TSMikeW Was I supposed to rename the BIOS file the I extracted? Change the file extension? I cannot fine any hard data on what name the EZ Flash 2 program needs. All I read are posts that say "you must rename the file"
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    You can find the manual here: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA2011/Z9PE-D8-WS/Manual/E12544_Z9PE-D8_WS_UM_V5_WEB.pdf

    Pages 4-4 and 4-5  have details on the methods of flashing the BIOS and how to do so. Make sure the flash drive is formatted FAT32 or it won't be readable. 

    As for a replacement BIOS I can't recommend a specific company that's in the US that would offers this anymore. PLC and DIP just stopped showing a while ago. Last time I remember having a PLC socket on a board was a Foxconn BloodRage X58 board.

    Just plan for the worst, back everything up. I've never bricked a board with a BIOS update, but I've seen it happen. Have an alternative arranged just in case.
  • Thanks for your constant encouragement. I was finally able to reach ASUS support and after multiple chat sessions, it became clear that there was a BIOS update from 2012 that changed how subsequent updates worked. So, they now use a different Bios update file extension from previous updates. And that old update was required before any later updates would work. Once they found this issue, I only had to flash the Bios twice, and now Windows 10 was able to be loaded. I am now working through all my software to see what works and what needs to be fixed. But it appears that the hardware is working with Windows 10.
    Thanks again for your knowledge and effort.
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    Hey, that's good to hear. You should be good from here on out and that's not surprising. I looked at it and saw the ROM files, and my thought was you were going to have to use AFUDOS or a similar utility to flash it from a ROM file. Considerably easier once you're current enough to use EZ Flash.  I don't think you'll require any drivers that aren't on Windows Update for the motherboard, for anything besides the SAS controller if you're using it. If anything comes up, let me know. I'll see what I can find.
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